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    101st AIRBORNE DIVISION: TITANS MILITARY BOWL Salute to Service: 101st Soldiers square off on gridiron

    101st AIRBORNE DIVISION: TITANS MILITARY BOWL  Salute to Service: 101st Soldiers square off on gridiron

    Photo By Sgt. James Griffin | Spc. Jordan Maness, center, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th...... read more read more

    Salute to Service: 101st Soldiers square off on gridiron
    • Sgt. James M. Griffin 1st Brigade Combat Team
    • Nov 8, 2018 Updated Nov 8, 2018

    NASHVILLE – Every year in November the National Football League along with its 32 teams show their support for the U.S. military and their Families by putting on Salute to Service games and other events.
    As part of this year’s Salute to Service hosted by the Tennessee Titans, Soldiers from 101st Airborne Division took part in the 2018 Tennessee Titans Military Bowl Monday at the Tennessee Titans Practice Facility at St. Thomas Sports Park, Nashville.
    Six teams squared off on the gridiron in a flag football tournament. The teams included members from 1st and 2nd brigade combat teams, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and 5th Special Forces Group.
    The Soldiers met and talked with NFL player Johnathan Cyprien, a safety for the Titans, as well as four of the Titans cheerleaders and T-Rac, the team mascot. On the surface, it may appear to be just a flag football game, but to Col. Derek Thomson, commander, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Abn. Div., competitive sports like this one are about cultivating a fighting spirit and the drive to win.
    “Competition is such an important part of being a Soldier,” Thomson said. “It’s that competitive spirit that is really so important. It translates into that fighting spirit of a Soldier. So, [flag football] is fun, it builds morale, it builds camaraderie, but it’s much deeper than that. It really builds the fighting spirit that we so value in our Soldiers.”
    Every unit represented on the field has Soldiers who are either deployed, about to deploy or just returning from a deployment. The life of a Soldier is not always an easy one, said Chap. (Capt.) Dairus Barnes, 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st BCT. The football field was these Soldiers’ place of duty for the evening.
    “Our jobs are hard,” Barnes said. “An infantryman’s job is hard. Being able to unplug and have fun and still be doing work, it’s awesome.”
    For Spc. Jordan Maness, Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 2nd Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 101st Abn. Div. Sust. Bde., 101st Abn. Div., the Tennessee Titans Military Bowl was a welcome opportunity to decompress from his recent deployment.
    “It’s an amazing opportunity,” Maness said with a broad smile. “I just heard about this, this morning and they threw me in as a sub. I am happy to be here. This makes me feel really good. I just got back from Iraq. I am trying to assimilate and get back into the swing of things and I feel like this is really good for me.”
    Teams from 2nd BCT and 5th SFG faced off for the championship match. In the end, 2nd BCT Soldiers emerged victorious and claimed the 2018 Tennessee Titans Military Bowl trophy.
    Following the tournament, Thomson was presented with a signed Titans-themed football. In turn, Thomson presented a certificate of appreciation for the Titans support and partnership to Matt Pees, the Titans quality control coach.



    Date Taken: 11.05.2018
    Date Posted: 03.05.2019 13:44
    Story ID: 299707
    Location: NASHVILLE, TN, US 

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